Monthly Archives: January 2012

Top 10 reasons to hate top 10 lists

  1. They are everywhere and they are annoying. Surely? Surely someone else is annoyed by them? Ahhh lovely internet, 5,140 hits for “top 10 lists suck”.
  2. It’s depressing that humanity’s attention span is now so short that most article writers seem to have to bribe people with the promise of there only being 10 sentences for them to have to read. So much brevity in their writing makes it, well, even more tasteless and trite than normal.
  3. It’s destroying the sexiness of numbers. And numbered lists. <ol> is nearly ruined for me.
  4. They’re nearly always subjective opinions given as the gospel truth, and goodness knows how many impressionable young minds there are out there scurrying around clicking on them. Think of the children, people!
  5. I usually get bored at number 5. This is sad because I only ever bother reading them when I’m bored in the hope that they’ll make me slightly less bored. It’s a sort of sadistic spiral of brief optimism, even briefer interest, a flare of irritation, a moment of distraction where I try to count the typos, and then I sink into an even deeper pit of boredom.
  6. Based on this I’m going to guess that most people don’t bother reading any further than 6.
  7. What do you think it is about cats that makes them like to sit in flower pots?
  8. Cat in pot
  9. Yeah, she’s got the right idea. Find your flowerpot, sit in it, and then don’t move for anyone, that’s my advice to all you avid readers of top 10 lists dissing top 10 lists. And no, there isn’t actually going to be a #10.

The evolution of the painted cat

To paint a cat, you can’t just reproduce its image – for some reason ceramic seems to lack the gravitas of paper. You try to paint a cat realistically and you get something offensive to cats – a generic image that says ‘painted cat’. To paint a cat on ceramics, then, and not insult all felinity, you have to capture its essence. And the essence of a cat is personality.

More prosaically, the other thing to keep in mind when painting a cat on a bowl or a plate or any ceramic item is proportion. It has to really claim the space (if it’s an open surface) or compliment the form (if it’s a closed or cylindrical surface). Because every painted mark is permanent, it’s quite easy to get this part wrong!

Otherwise, all you need is a paintbrush, some oxide or underglaze and a fondness for cats.

Here is where there should be a photo gallery of painted cats, showing a range of more- and less-successful efforts. But all I have to offer are the following two images:

This cat knows how to pose for a photograph, but the photographer has left a lot of white space…

Also, the glaze is too thin, so the end result is a bit watered-down looking. Will have to have another go at this one. It needs to be bolder and the blue needs to be richer to do justice to this noble looking specimen (he looks just like Vladimir Nabokov’s father – I refer only to his expression, of course!).

I like this bowl quite a lot. This cat has found a comfortable spot to curl up, and is trying her best to be inconspicuous, but those stripes are pretty strong! I bet she’s a great mouser.